Thursday, April 4, 2019

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black
by Esi Edugyan

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2018
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Genre: Historical, Barbados, Canada
Hardback: 339
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
Faith Plantation, Barbados, 1830
I might have been ten, eleven years old – I cannot say for certain – when my first master died.

Washington Black is an eleven-year-old field slave who knows no other life than the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born.

When his master's eccentric brother chooses him to be his manservant, Wash is terrified of the cruelties he is certain await him. But Christopher Wilde, or "Titch," is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor, and abolitionist.

He initiates Wash into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky; where two people, separated by an impossible divide, might begin to see each other as human; and where a boy born in chains can embrace a life of dignity and meaning. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash's head, Titch abandons everything to save him.

What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic, where Wash, left on his own, must invent another new life, one which will propel him further across the globe.

From the sultry cane fields of the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, Washington Black tells a story of friendship and betrayal, love and redemption, of a world destroyed and made whole again--and asks the question, what is true freedom?

My two-bits:

Loved this tale of a black experience set in the 1830's which included some steampunk, sea creatures and art.


* part of the Tournament of Books 2019 (here)
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